"As it turns out, curiosity may be the real fuel of high-power rocketry."

This robust account of hobby rocketry covers the history of the people and the amazing feats of progress that have pushed the field to new heights. Beginning his chronicle from 1981, Canepa presents a fascinating look inside the world of amateurs, enthusiasts, pioneers, and experts of high-powered rocketry. Canepa then sweeps through the years, touching down on the thrilling successes and teachable failures of rockets reaching dizzying heights and others crashing to earth never to be seen again. He divides the decades effectively into three sections based on advancements and revolutions in rocketry, most notably the breakthrough in reloadable rocket technology. The result is a sprawling timeline of progress with intimate details of the work of individuals and organizations intent on breaking altitude records with high-powered hobby rockets.

Canepa takes the reader through countless launches describing the people, the location, the rocket, and the outcome, which is always accompanied by cogent insights into what went wrong or right on a particular launch. The author delves deep into the technical aspects of hobby rocketry, but he maintains a moving story of determination and passion for improvement and achievement. Most of the people he writes about are people pursuing a hobby. They are not engineers or rocket scientists but civilians and citizens seeking to send homemade rockets into space. This exploration of ingenuity and innovation in a niche field is engaging and surprisingly accessible to a layperson. These hobbyists, of course, move far beyond mere tinkering as they problem-solve their way through physics, chemistry, and engineering to reach higher and higher altitudes. Impeccably researched and carefully constructed, this meticulous narrative tells a rich story of people pursuing their passion with a community of like-minded people fixed on a goal to push the limits of hobby rockets.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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